Monday, July 10, 2017

A Down syndrome Birth Diagnosis: Our Story

A Down syndrome Birth Diagnosis - Our Story #downsyndrome


On August 18, 2013, we received an incredible gift. That gift was our 4th child, Liam, who was born with Down syndrome! On the day he was born, it was impossible to see the gift we were given while struggling to accept the shocking birth diagnosis. But now we know exactly why we are considered The Lucky Few!


After receiving a large number of emails, and lots of traffic from my Down syndrome Pinterest board over the past few weeks, I decided to revamp my Down syndrome posts, starting with our birth diagnosis story. It is so hard to believe that Liam will be celebrating his 4th birthday next month. Time truly does fly by!

To quickly summarize, we had a healthy pregnancy with Liam, and we were told he was "textbook perfect." The simple blood test showed that our chances of having a child with Down syndrome was nearly 1 in 1000 (those tests are not foolproof), and he looked perfect in all of the ultrasounds. We never thought it could happen to us!

After his birth, the doctors were divided. Several doctors suspected he had Down syndrome while others did not. It took nearly a month before the test results were confirmed, but I already knew. The lab had a lot of difficulty making an accurate diagnosis, so we were in limbo for almost an entire month. But he did, indeed, have Down syndrome.

My recollection of the events that occurred after Liam's birth is foggy. I remember things that happened, things that were said, and the way I felt, but not in order. The hours after his birth were filled with shock, grief, worry, and fear. I later found out that all my feelings that day were completely normal.  I'm not proud of the way I felt, but my thoughts and feelings were identical to many I talked to who shared a similar experience.  Thoughts went through my mind that no mother should ever feel. The truth is, it was a grieving process. I grieved the loss of the baby I thought we were getting, and had to to go through the process of grief, acceptance, and healing.  


What I'm about to share is going to be raw, emotional, and completely honest, but the ending is beautiful. We went into the hospital expecting to meet the perfectly healthy baby we saw in all the ultrasounds.   What actually happened was enough to rock anyone's world.  

Liam's birth story is nothing like I imagined it would be. It was the day that changed our lives forever. Although very much unexpected, it is HIS story, and it's every bit as special as Dylan, Lexie, and Lily's births. 


I experience so many emotions when I think about the day we met Liam. The hours after his birth are a blur, and the pain was evident on my face in all the pictures. There are so many things I wish I could go back and relive now that I know better. The first thing I would do is tell myself to celebrate the baby we were given instead of mourning the loss of the baby we were expecting.

When I think about Liam now, only one word comes to mind: Blessed!


Down syndrome

Our story began on the day I reached 37 weeks. I was thrilled to be full term, and so excited to meet our baby! We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, and the excitement was building. Although I didn't know it at the time, it would be my last weekly pregnancy update.


Down syndrome birth diagnosis

That afternoon, my mom and I had plans to go to Costco and WalMart to stock up on food and supplies before the baby arrived. When I picked her up from work, I joked about our shopping trip putting me into labor. Little did I know that it would be true! While we were out, I started having very strong Braxton Hick's contractions. By the time we finished shopping, they were getting painful. That evening, I told Grant that I was pretty sure that I was in the early stage of labor.  

The next day was Saturday, so we all slept in. When I woke up, the contractions started again. I called my parents around noon to give them the warning that I would probably be going to the hospital within the next 24 hours. 

That evening, we had plans to go to our friend's house for dinner.  Grant thought I was completely crazy for wanting to go, considering the fact that I had been having regular contractions for almost 24 hours. We went, and during an absolutely delicious dinner, the need to actually time the contractions hit me.  I downloaded a labor app while we were eating, and I began timing the contractions.

My contractions were coming every 5-10 minutes. Every time I had one, everybody stared at me in silence until it passed. I finally looked at Grant and told him that we should probably go home, put the kids to bed, and get things ready to go to the hospital. 

Once the kids were in bed, we sat down on the couch and watched an episode of "Cheers." (Netflix during labor...gotta love it!)  I was still having contractions, but they had slowed down a bit. We headed to bed, confused and frustrated. I only slept about 2 hours before getting out of bed in the middle of the night. I was feeling very restless, and the contractions were coming every 5-10 minutes again. I had coffee, cleaned the house, talked to family and friends, got ready, then paced the house. During that time there were signs that the baby would be born soon.

Around 6 AM, Grant noticed the bed was empty and ran to check on me. I told him that I thought we would be heading to the hospital soon. He suggested that we leave right away, but I was still in denial, and I thought they would send me home if I went to the hospital.


Sometime between 7-8 AM, I realized that this was it. I called my parents to tell them that they should come over ASAP, then I called my OB office, and waited for a call back from the on-call doctor. When my favorite doctor called back and told me to come in, I was so relieved! My parents arrived, we kissed the kids goodbye, and headed to the hospital. Let it be known that GRANT WAS RIGHT...AGAIN!  We should have left at 6 AM.

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

By the time we got in the car, I was in full-blown, active, PAINFUL labor. The contractions were coming at lightning speed, and once again, I felt like I was going to deliver in the car. It was exactly like our experience driving to the hospital when I was in labor with Lily. I was gripping my seat the entire time.  

We reached the hospital just before 9 AM, and we slowly made our way to labor and delivery. Our nurse, Crissy, met us in the hallway, and Dr. Kapnadak waved to us from the desk. Crissy took us to triage, because I was only 37 weeks, and they wanted to make sure it was actual labor. (Just for the record, I already KNEW it was!)


The only other time I had to go to triage first was with Dylan, who was born preterm, but I knew it was the real thing. I gave a urine sample, changed into a gown, answered questions, got hooked up to the monitor, and waited for my doctor. Meanwhile, Grant got to hear our baby's heartbeat for the very first time! 

My doctor came in, checked me, and announced that I was over 5 cm and completely effaced! This was it! Everything happened really fast after that. We walked to the delivery room, and the nurse hooked me up to the monitors. My IV was put in, and soon after, I got the epidural. It was a much more pleasant experience than my previous experiences with the epidural!

Once the pain medication kicked in, Grant and I were able to relax, and tell everybody that it would be our baby's birthday! He/She would be sharing a birthday with my sister, Pam. I was still in disbelief, but so excited to meet our baby!

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

I spent the next two hours quietly progressing. Whenever I had to lay on my back to get checked, my blood pressure would plummet, causing me to nearly pass out and feel really nauseous. Medication helped somewhat, but it was scary, so I stayed on my side the entire time. The lack of pain was definitely a relief, though!


While we waited, Grant and I kept checking the heart rate and giving our final guesses for the gender. We also attempted to choose a boy name (Liam or Cohen), and visited with my sister, Kelly, who showed up near the end of my labor.

Around 1:00 PM, the doctor came back in to examine me, and said that I was fully dilated and ready to go! My sister went to the waiting room, and they quickly got the bed ready for delivery. Surprisingly, my water never broke, so I didn't get the chance to call my parents ahead of time to have them come to the hospital with our kids. I remember thinking the entire day was surreal, and feeling like it was all going by too quickly.

Everything that happened from that point on is a blur.


Pushing felt very difficult this time. My legs were heavier than they had ever been before from the epidural, so I couldn't even hold on to them. I struggled with feeling like I was going to pass out or fall off the bed. I was really uncomfortable, but I pushed and pushed and pushed with all my might.

I really only pushed a few times, but it felt like forever! The doctor explained that she hated to do an episiotomy unless absolutely necessary, and it definitely was. Our baby almost came out on the first push, but the head was just too big. After a few pushes, the baby went into distress, and the doctor told me that I only had one more push before she would have to use the vacuum. I had that done with Dylan and ended up with a horrific tear, so I was determined to push the baby out on my own!

I pushed with all my might, and our sweet baby entered the world!

Our baby let out a cry, and with it, I began to cry.  Somebody, although I'm not sure who, said, "It's a BOY!!!  I tried to sit up to catch a glimpse of him. The doctor looked perplexed and commented on how unusually short his cord was, then told Grant that she preferred to cut the cord so he didn't slip and accidentally cut me. We all laughed, but I was disappointed.


All I had wanted for this delivery was for Grant to be able to cut the cord, and for me to hold my baby right after birth. That's all. It had never happened for us! I was bummed that Grant wasn't able to cut the cord, but still hopeful that I could hold my baby.

At that moment, the happy mood in the delivery room came to a crashing halt. And that's when the details get fuzzy. I remember the doctor commenting again about how short his cord was, and staring down at him, looking very concerned.  Now I know why.

I reached out to grab my baby, but the doctor quickly handed him over to our nurse. The blanket was already on my chest, ready for me to hold him for the first time. Disappointment and worry kicked in as the nurse spun on her heel and handed him to another nurse.

After that, the room went completely silent. Our baby wasn't crying, nobody was talking, and everybody in the room was just staring at our son. 

I remember asking if he was okay, yet nobody answered. The doctor wouldn't even meet my eyes, which was very strange. She just went to work cleaning things up. I believe our nurse told us that he had fluid in his lungs, and that he just needed a little help breathing. She kept squeezing my hand and patting my arm, but everybody in the room stayed silent.

Minutes went by, and more doctors entered the room. I repeatedly asked if everything was okay, because our son was completely silent, and nobody answered. I just remember a group of doctors and nurses surrounding his bassinet, blocking our baby from view, and speaking very quietly.

At that point, I knew something was very wrong.


My doctor finished up, said congratulations, flashed us a quick smile, and hurried out of the room.  Our son still hadn't made a single sound.

Eventually, after what felt like hours, he began to cry, and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief.  Doctors and nurses began to leave the room. Only one nurse remained, and she brought him over and handed him to me, as if nothing had happened. After so many agonizing minutes, we were thrilled to have him in our arms! 



The delivery lights were still shining over the bed. I took my son from the nurse, and held him in front of me so Grant and I could finally see his face. His entire face was illuminated by the light. His eyes were wide open, and they locked on mine. As soon as our eyes met, my heart plummeted. 


Those eyes were so much different than my other newborns. I knew. I just knew, deep in my heart, that he wasn't the baby we had been expecting for nine months. I actually turned to ask the nurse if he had Down Syndrome, but she had already left. As I took in those features, every single expectation I had for him and our future shattered, along with my heart.

The tears streamed down my cheeks while I was holding him. I turned to Grant, sobbing. "He has Down syndrome." I remember Grant looked completely shocked, and he asked me how I knew. All I could say was, "He does. He just does." 


We were alone in that room for what felt like an eternity. Grief enveloped me as I hugged my baby, and I couldn't stop the tears from falling. Nobody came in to check on us. We were so alone and so lost. All I wanted to do was wake up from this awful nightmare.


After what felt like hours, a doctor came into the room, pulled over a chair, and sat down. I knew it wasn't a good sign, because that had never happened with my other births. But truly, he didn't have to say a word. I already knew.

He struggled to deliver the news that some of the doctors suspected our baby had a genetic disorder.  I remember Grant asking, "Do you mean Down syndrome?"  I remember the doctor nodding his head, then assuring us that all of our questions would be answered, and that it was just as suspicion. As if that wasn't enough to process, he told us that roughly 3 out of every 5 babies born with Down syndrome have a major heart defect, and that he needed to take our baby to see the cardiologist immediately. With that, our son was whisked away yet again, and we were truly alone with nothing but our grief.

That's when I lost it. Completely and truly lost it. I sobbed, uncontrollably, while Grant tried to reassure me that it would all be okay. I kept repeating the same words.  "It's not okay. I can't do this. I don't want to do this."  I remember asking God why he did this to our beautiful baby.


I didn't want any of this.  I wanted the perfect, healthy baby I had expected. Instead, we were faced with uncertainty. I was terrified we were going to lose our son, or that he was going to need multiple surgeries, and I was terrified of how much our lives were going to change. I knew nothing would ever be the same again if he really did have Down syndrome.

It felt like a nightmare. I kept thinking I was going to wake up at any moment, roll over, tell Grant all about it, and that we would laugh at how much I worried about things. Everything that was happening was completely surreal, and I couldn't escape from it.

Eventually, our son was brought back to us. Despite the grief, I knew I had a baby to take care of. I tried to nurse him, but it was hard. He would latch on, suck weakly for a few seconds,  then turn his head away. On top of that, we still hadn't decided on his name.  I finally told Grant to pick his name. For the first time since our son was born, Grant smiled, walked over to the whiteboard, and wrote down his son's name. 


Down syndrome birth diagnosis

We realized we didn't have a single picture of our new baby boy. We were never given the chance to pick up the camera. Unfortunately, the first picture taken of Liam was when he was in my arms for the second time, and we weren't filled with happiness, because we were struggling to process the news.

Down syndrome birth diagnosis


All I wanted to do was hide out in our hospital room and hide our baby from the world. I didn't want to break the news to our family and friends. Unfortunately, my sister was in the waiting room, and family and friends were on their way. Grant brought up the fact that my sister had been waiting a very long time and that we had to go get her.


Kelly came back to the room with Grant, and she was so excited to meet her nephew. We were still processing the news, so we didn't say anything. She could tell I had been crying, and asked if I was okay. I just told her I was tired and emotional, and let her enjoy the moment. She was so happy to be there during my labor and was thrilled she was the first person to meet Liam. She held him and fussed over him, and didn't even notice anything was wrong.

Before she left, she snapped a few pictures for us.  Looking back, I'm so glad she was there, and I'm so glad we have these pictures.  They aren't the traditionally happy post delivery pictures, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and these pictures tell quite a story.

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

After Kelly left, a nurse took Liam away for more testing. Once again, we were left in complete silence, and nobody came in to talk to us. The entire staff seemed to be avoiding us. My legs were still numb, so I was trapped in bed. I couldn't move, couldn't think, and I was emotionally and physically exhausted.  I felt completely numb and completely drained.


We called my parents, who were on their way with our kids. We didn't say anything to them about what was going on.  Grant called his mom, and broke the news to her.  I cried in the background as he spoke.  At that point, I sent the most difficult message I ever had to write to some of my closest friends.

I was still crying when my dear friend, Steph, knocked on the door.  As soon as she walked into the room, she saw the pain on my face, and she started to cry.  She arrived at the hospital before reading my message, so she had no idea.

As she hugged me, I explained what was going on.  She quickly pulled herself together, then pulled us together. Steph was the moral support we needed so badly, when nobody else would step up, and for that, we're forever grateful. She started laughing and said, "I'm more surprised that he's a boy than I am that he has Down syndrome!" I am so thankful she was there for us. She saved us from falling deeper into depression. 

We decided that Grant and Steph were going to take the kids out of the room as soon as they arrived so I could tell my parents everything. As soon as my parents walked into the room, we greeted the kids, and told them Grant was going to take them to the cafeteria for a treat. My parents immediately knew something was going on, especially since the baby wasn't in the room with us. The look on my mom's face was one of pure terror. As soon as the door closed behind them, I began to cry.

I remember my mom's voice, filled with dread, "What's going on?" I remember trying to get the words out through my tears, "They think he has Down Syndrome." She dropped everything she was carrying to the ground, screamed "NO!" and covered her mouth with her hand. 

I think she hugged me while we cried, I think they asked questions, but I truly can't remember anything after her reaction. That is, until my awesome dad, with his amazing positive attitude, said, "Okay, where's my grandson? I want to meet him!"

Grant, Steph, and the kids returned, so I called the nurse to bring Liam back. Steph pulled out her camera, and began capturing all the special moments while we waited. We gave the kids their big sibling gifts, I tried to eat something but ended up feeding Lily instead, the kids felt my empty belly, and I showed them pictures of their new sibling. Dylan, Lexie, and Lily were the distraction we needed. Their happiness and excitement were contagious.

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Liam was returned to us, and the mood completely changed into one of excitement!


I didn't even see any of the pictures until Liam was a few months old, and I cried as I flipped through them for the first time. The pain on my face is evident in the first few pictures, but my mindset began to change as I watched Dylan, Lexie, and Lily meet their baby brother. They loved him just as he was, with all their might. He was perfect in their eyes, and I knew he should be in mine, too. Steph captured these precious moments perfectly, so I'll let the pictures tell the story.

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis


Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

 Down syndrome birth diagnosis


Down syndrome birth diagnosis

down syndrome birth diagnosis

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

I was so afraid that our family and friends were going to act differently around him. I was afraid that all they would notice was his slanted eyes or the extra skin on the back of his neck. But our family and friends loved him just as they loved Dylan, Lexie, and Lily.  The love and support from them was amazing, and watching them love our special boy brought tears to my eyes.

Down syndrome birth diagnosis

Everybody headed home to give us time to rest and process the news, and Liam was taken away again. Once again, the sadness hit when Liam was out of the room. I remember my two amazing nurses coming in before the shift change to say goodbye. They both wrapped their arms around me and assured me everything would be okay. They were the first hospital personnel to even acknowledge our concerns.


We began the difficult task of telling our family and friends about Liam. Within a half hour of telling my mom group on Facebook, I received a message from another woman that had gone through the same thing. She was the one who gave us the most information, and I am so grateful for that. Nobody at the hospital would tell us anything. Doctors, nurses, and the lactation consultant came and went, but apparently, they had to treat him like a typical baby until the blood test confirmed the diagnosis.

It was nearly 6:00 before I was able to get out of bed. After moving around for a bit, Grant and the nurse convinced me that I had to eat something, even though I didn't want to do anything but cry. We were eventually moved out of the delivery room and into a recovery room. I think we had visitors that night, but honestly, we had so many visitors during our stay that the visits blend together. The love and support was overwhelming and much needed.

After what felt like the most difficult day ever, Grant and I finally attempted to go to bed. It was the most emotionally and physically draining day we had ever experienced. Liam had been taken out of the room for MORE testing and evaluation. My arms were empty, my heart was heavy, and I cried myself to sleep. 


In the middle of the night, the nurse quietly entered the room with Liam. She cheerfully announced that he had another bath and was hungry. She checked on me and handed Liam over. The room was dim and silent.  I held Liam in front of me and studied my baby boy. I breathed in his amazing newborn smell and touched his soft cheeks and lips. His eyes opened, and locked with mine. It was almost as if he was begging to be wanted and loved.

In that moment, he took my breath away.

The tears fell again, but this time, they fell because I was so ashamed at how I felt after he was born. I stared at him and told him that I would love and protect him with all my might. I hugged him against me and kissed the top of his head. He wrapped his fingers around mine and I fell head over heels in love with my beautiful boy.

The rest of our hospital stay was a blur, but it was more positive. I woke up early the following morning and my wonderful doctor came in as I was walking around. She gave me a huge hug and apologized for not discovering this during my pregnancy. We received the great news that his heart was perfectly healthy and his thyroid was perfectly normal. We had a lot of visitors that day, but I can't seem to find those pictures. We also had our courtesy Welcome Baby Dinner, and the cutest little man joined us!


Down syndrome birth diagnosis

By the next day, Grant and I were more than ready to take our baby home. Nobody helped us or gave us any information, and it was very frustrating! We just wanted to go home and deal with it on our own.

I know Liam's birth wasn't typical, but I felt like we were robbed of having a somewhat normal experience. I felt angry that we were unable to bond with our baby. We didn't get to hold him or see him for the first half hour of his life, then he spent most of his first day away from us. I honestly feel like the situation would have been less painful if we were just given a chance to hold him for a few seconds after he was born. I understand their concerns and why they needed to examine him, but I really do feel like the bonding process was very delayed. My other regret is that we were unable to take any pictures of him immediately after he was born. 

As I was packing up our things to leave the hospital, Liam napped in the sunlight. Grant was taking stuff to the car, and I remember turning around and catching a glimpse of Liam. His beauty captivated me. He looked so perfect and angelic, and I was overcome with the fierce urge to love and protect him.

Down syndrome

Down syndrome

Down syndrome

Down syndrome

Down syndrome

My doctor discharged me first, then we waited impatiently for Liam to get discharged. We couldn't wait to take him home to be with those who would love and protect him. It was where he belonged!

Down syndrome

Finally, the nurse came in with the paperwork and removed the security devices.  We were free to put the nightmare behind us, and move on with our lives, whether it included Down syndrome or not!

Down syndrome

As I was wheeled out of the hospital, I wrapped my arms protectively around Liam's carseat.  We ended up in an elevator full of nuns, who surrounded us and prayed over him. I couldn't help but think of it as an incredibly beautiful and much needed moment. I was still trying to hide him from the world, and they just prayed for another beautiful life. 

We finally arrived home to a decorated house, lots of food and gifts, and three very excited kids! We were thrilled to be home with our newest love and excited to start our journey together!

Down syndrome

It took almost a month before we received the news that Liam did, indeed, have Down syndrome. It usually takes 24-48 hours to receive the results from the karyotype. I will save that story, with the suspected reasons behind why it took so long, for another time. Let me just say, I wasn't the least bit surprised when I finally received that phone call. I already knew deep in my heart and I had already moved on. And that's when our Down syndrome journey began...

Liam's birth story was not an easy one to tell.  There are quite a few things I wish I could change, but I would never want to change him.  I honestly believe Grant and I were meant to receive such a special blessing. Even if we had known during my pregnancy, it wouldn't have changed anything. 


Dylan, Lexie, and Lily's births were so special. Liam's birth was special, too. I remember the overwhelming feeling of joy when I met Dylan, Lexie, and Lily for the first time, but no matter how hard I try, I can't remember looking into their eyes for the first time.

The moment Liam's eyes met mine is seared into my mind forever. There are times when I close my eyes and the image is so vivid it makes me gasp. It's just his face, illuminated by the only light in the room, and those stunning eyes staring into mine. That moment is so beautiful now. At the time, I failed to see his beauty. Now, his beauty is all I can see. 

Liam changed our lives in so many ways. Liam challenged us to be better parents. He brought our family and friends closer. His birth brought so many amazing people into my life; people I never would have met if he didn't have Down syndrome. Liam made us better.

Every day, I thank God for giving Liam to me. He is a gift, and I am honored to be his mom. I wake up to his incredible smile every morning.  He is joyful, determined, beautiful, captivating, and absolutely perfect. My love for this beautiful boy is immeasurable, and he has captured not only our hearts, but the hearts of people near and far. He is downright perfect and we are downright blessed!


16 comments:

  1. Your honesty and transparency are humbling. You are one amazing mama. <3

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  2. This is a beautifully told story. It is sad that the doctors wouldn't reply when you wanted to know if the baby was ok. You must have been so nervous! Maybe you could write a letter about how things could improve for other moms in that circumstance.

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  3. This is so beautiful, Stephanie. Im just a sobbing mess. It is so true that it is only after the fact that we realize how truly blessed we really are.

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  4. What a beautiful post, Stefanie. I can't imagine what it would have been like to go through that initial shock and the long wait that you had to endure while waiting for the doctors to tell you what was going on. I would have been a mess. Sweet Liam is so blessed to have you as a mother and I know that your whole family is just as blessed by him as well. He is a shining light! He truly is! I always smile when his little face pops up in my Instagram feed. <3

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  5. I love reading this story. So full of raw emotions. I felt similar feelings when I found out we were having twins. Lots of tears, but in the end it has been amazing. I know they are different stories, but I know those raw emotions and wishing you could take back some of those feelings, words and thoughts. Thank you for sharing his story. It is a beautiful one. I love watching Liam grow up and seeing all the fun stuff he gets himself into. You are truly blessed!

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  6. Your entire family is beautiful! His birth story is so moving and raw. I can't stop crying!! Thank you for sharing this story, I know he's a true blessing to you all!

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  7. I got choked up multiple times reading this but your honesty is truly what captivated me. Your honesty during this experience is so refreshing. I can't even imagine what you went through. However Liam is truly a gift from God and a life to celebrate!

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  8. Oh this was so beautifully written! What an absolute joy Liam is in your lives. I appreciate the honesty of the grieving process you had to go through though.

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  9. I know without a doubt that God placed Liam in your life for a purpose. He knew you would be the PERFECT Momma for him and that your family was made complete on the day Liam was born.

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  10. This is a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing! Liam is perfect and is such a blessing!!!

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  11. Liam's birth story is absolutely amazing! He is definitely a blessing. His joy and love for everyone is transparent and something never to be changed. I love how honest you are in this though. It would be such a difficult thing to swollow at first and that okay. Life throws you curves, but you learn to hit them back and you guys definitely have. :)

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  12. Argh, all the ugly tears!! You are the description of strength and beauty. Your son Liam IS a gift, a gift I believe God chose you to receive. Blessings <3

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  13. What a beautiful story! He's absolutely perfect and a perfect fit for your family! - Karen

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  14. What a beautiful story! You have such a beautiful soul and God gave Liam the most perfect set of parents. I literally could not stop crying! I'm still crying.
    He is so handsome❤️ God bless you and your family!

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  15. Stefanie, your birth story brought tears to my eyes. I cherished every word. Thank you so much for writing this.

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  16. wow honey!!!! This was beautiful! I cannot believe they didn't hand him to you right away and also how no one answered you. You are so amazing and L is amazing. God is going to use that boy in a mighty way!

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